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Plotting a safe journey

Article Type: Feature          Published: 09-2014         Views: 2446   



Andrew Carr, CEO of Bull Information Systems, offers a selection of Top Tips for 'getting there with Hybrid Cloud Storage'..

Organisations today increasingly understand the benefits of moving to the cloud. Yet, many still hesitate to take their first steps on the road to full cloud-based implementations due to the perceived risks involved. Here are my top tips for migrating to the cloud and tapping into its many benefits while still effectively managing risk.

1. Ensure You Get the Right Advice
Whatever cloud solution you opt for, make sure you invest in an approach that delivers a combination of consultancy and high-quality technology. Getting the underlying infrastructure and SLA management security in place are crucial of course, but you will also need to tap into informed advice on making a step-by-step journey to the cloud.

For many businesses, choosing hybrid cloud storage solutions will be a good option. You will have the chance to establish a fully supported, sustainable and secure platform that allows you to migrate at your own pace.

2. Reduce Risk by Running Trials
Implementing a hybrid cloud storage solution allows you to test your ability to adapt your IT infrastructure to a cloud-based model before committing to a full migration. This approach enables you to retain some elements of the solution in the cloud, thereby keeping a level of control in your own data centre while simultaneously cutting risk.

3. Don't Fret about Security
Even with the hybrid model, security can be an issue, although it is primarily one of perception. You may be worried that if your data is being hosted in the cloud by a solutions provider or on another organisation's site and there is a disagreement over the service or a contractual dispute, you will struggle to retrieve it. But you need to appreciate that providers can be flexible and understand that while asset management is key, it should not prevent you from accessing the cloud and tapping into the benefits that a cloud-based approach can bring.

4. Get Peace of Mind from Ensuring Business Continuity
Have the confidence to make the most out of your hybrid cloud implementation. The ability to keep some IT resources local should help you meet security restrictions and compliance requirements and achieve reassurance as a result. At the same time you can realise the benefits of using the hybrid model to secure your storage and create a more robust business continuity capability paid on a 'per use' basis.

5. Make the Most of Flexible Financing
Moving to a hybrid managed storage model allows you to realise the benefits of a hybrid 'per use' pricing structure. The way it works is that the provider first identifies the base limits in terms of your current storage requirements. As that requirement then increases or decreases, the hybrid per use model allows you to scale up and down in the cloud and only pay for what you use. You therefore get much more flexibility in terms of cost but also the ability to quickly adjust capacity to meet unpredictable demand.

6. Take Things a Step Further
Once you've taken your first steps to the cloud and you've learnt to trust the hybrid approach, it is relatively easy to go all the way by moving your remaining storage out of the data centre and into the cloud. This step-by-step approach has many benefits. You can test your culture, service management and the way you operate internally.

Today at Bull, we are seeing the hybrid cloud storage approach become increasingly popular as issues around cloud security dissipate. Organisations looking to migrate to cloud computing are putting storage and back-up into the cloud first. This is happening across multiple markets and with all sizes of enterprise. Today, it is increasingly clear that the future of business is in the cloud and, if businesses follow the advice outlined above, hybrid managed storage offers the perfect route to get there.

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